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|The Big Show||
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Subject: surprising gem
I agree with all these reviewers, and just want to add my favorite scene: in the big finish, we end up with the image of the gangsters as cowboys, commandeering a stagecoach and firing their modern, semi-automatic pistols at Autry and about 100 Texas Rangers thundering thru the art deco-modern fairgrounds. Meta before "meta" was cool!
PS Ive never watched more than a few seconds of a Gene Autry movie before, but this one snagged me in the middle and led me to start over at the beginning.
Dr Feel Rotten -
Subject: Yep pertty dern shootin good
Karen said All there was to say so read her review..I'm just along for the ride.
Subject: Yippee and Yeehaa!!!
What a joy and a delight this film is.
It has everything a good movie needs. Comedy, adventure, action, romance, crime-drama, impersonation/mistaken identity, parades, horses, pretty girls, singing cowboys, movie lots, rodeos, livestock chase scenes, mobsters, and so much more I can't remember it all...
It has a great, quick-moving story line, it was well-acted by likable characters, it held my interest and certainly entertained me, the picture was clear and the volume good - I really liked this movie a lot and give it my highest recommendation.
Subject: Big Show, The
This is a totally unexpected movie. I am not usually mad about Gene Autry but this movie is a total gem. I love the music. It's popular music with a fiddle in the band kind of sound that is fun. Gene had fun making this one. No one could hate making this film. I don't know many who would hate watching it either.
Subject: 1936 Time Capsule
Aside from the action described in the previous reviews, "The Big Show" is almost a 1936 time capsule with the scenes listed below:
Filming and stunt making at the Simi Hills area northwest of Hollywood, along with scenes on the back lots of an actual movie studio.
Vintage automobiles,including a 1936 Buick and Willys and numerous other vehicles, including a cross country bus. Scenes of a typical highway of 1936.
Scenes at the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas, including the Gulf Oil Company Radio Studios and loudspeakers all over the fairgrounds ; scenes from The Cavalcade of Texas, including the finale of the presentation of the "Texas Under Six Flags" scenes (this was before "Six Flags Over Texas") on the then "world's largest outdoor stage."
Many of the buildings seen in the movie are still existing buildings which may be seen today at Fair Park especialy during the annual State Fair of Texas.
Appearances by musical groups such as the opening number by "The Beverly Hill Billies" (no relation to the TV show of later years) ; "The Light Crust Dough Boys" (later instrumental in getting W. Lee O' Daniel elected to the Governor of Texas);
"The Jones Boys" (an unknown but apparently very talented African-American vocal group); and "The Sons of the Pioneers" (including a then unknown guitar played named Leonard Slye, who would later go on to fame as Roy Rogers.)
Also personal appearances of Captain Leonard Pack of the Texas Rangers, along with his horse "Texas" and a band of marching and singing Rangers. The SMU band appears in the parade scene.
And of course men's and women's clothing fashions of 1936.
The best lines in the movie IMHO :
"Lee Wilson" (William Newells) : "Oh why was I ever born ?"
Gene Autry "This is no time for riddles !"
Subject: Buh bye Champion
Buh bye Champion
This was almost a guilty pleasure to like. Gene Autry plays.. Gene Autry, a stunt double for the famous cowboy Tom Ford in his movies. When Ford skips town to go fishing, his agent is in a pickle as Ford is scheduled to work the Texas National Exposition1 The agent gets a brilliant idea to send Autry instead, since they are EXACTLY alike. Well almost.. You see when Autry arrives in Dallas for the fair, he is caught singing and is put on the fairs radio for all to hear! This radio station is broadcast everywhere! Everyone hears it! The Hollywood studio where Ford works is amazed and wants to book singing cowboy pictures! Problem is.. Other people hear it too.. Like underworld types Ford owes money to and, well, Ford himself!
Again, I have no idea why I found this as enjoyable as it was. Probably the main thing was the originalness of the darn thing. I mean, we find out how cowboy films are made! I wonder if Gene Autry, who is playing a stunt man, had a stunt man for his stunt scenes? (He risked life and death though, playing certain danger scenes in front of a laughably fake screen). I also loved the fact that they shot ½ the movie at the actual fair itself. I guess they had a wild west show there. LOVE the song he sings at the show when he sings about shooting his injured horse, Champion. I mean, THATS ENTERTAINMENT!
Subject: A Gene Autry Gem
Anyone familiar with Gene Autry and his films has seeen this film in one form or another over the years. Basically it is a musical with just enough other elements mixed in to please the fan base out in the hinterlands. However a little deeper look at the picture, especially the restored version, shows a well crafted satire on the movie business, with all involved having a fun time with tongues firmly in cheeks. Put together by Mack V. Wright, assisted by Cliff Lyons, and scripted by the McGowans, Autry and company are all at the top of their collective games. The laughs are plentiful (intentional and otherwise) and the musical groups a historical and accurate picture of those soon to be famous singers and musicians. There is no other Autry picture like this one, and probably no other western musical either. Enjoy